Get Evil Genius free on Steam while you wait for the sequel

(Image credit: Rebellion)

Evil Genius is free right now, and all you have to do is sign up for a Rebellion account to get it.

Rebellion is giving away copies of the 2004 lair-building game on Steam in the lead-up to Evil Genius 2, which is coming later this year. While the original is certainly showing its age by now, it is still without question the best game about being a megalomaniacal mastermind in a Connery-era Bond movie ever made.

Even if you're more of a Moore fan, you should be able to enjoy the bright, saturated colors and comedic spy thriller vibe of Evil Genius. You start by choosing your genius from a selection of archetypal villains, each with their own specialties, then you construct your very first secret lair on a remote tropical island. While you can send henchmen on missions all over the world, the real meat of the game is in constructing the perfect facility to support your nefarious plans and - just as importantly - foil any attempts at infiltration by government agents.

Naturally, the best way to defend yourself is by setting up an elaborate series of deadly traps. You even get a cash bonus for combo-ing enemy agents through a series of different traps: set up a laser sensor to trigger toxic gas, then when they flee from the gas use a wind machine to blow them into a piranha tank, and so on. Monologuing at the agent the entire time is optional.

You may want to check out this fan-made patch that shores up some of the game's issues before you play. Hopefully the original game will fill your mind with terrible possibilities while we wait for Evil Genius 2 to arrive.

Find even more to play in our list of the best strategy games.

Connor Sheridan

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.